This year, Lindsey and I have had more than our share of medical and household expenses. The amazing trip we originally planned for our anniversary had to be scrapped. Things are looking up, however, so we decided to take a long weekend getaway for our anniversary.
After much discussion, we decided on the Texas Hill Country as a destination. All we knew was we wanted to relax, take a few photos, be romantic, and get our bodies slathered in oil and rubbed down by a someone, possibly named Helga, with strong hands. The result was a combination camping and B&B weekend. Yeah, I said “camping.” Hey, now. We’re lesbians. That’s what we do. We camp. Some of us better than others.
The first part of the trip had us driving to Enchanted Rock State Park near Fredericksburg, TX. Early last week, Lindsey asked me if I wanted to stay in a hotel in Fredericksburg, or if I wanted to camp in the park. “Hmm…camp,” I thought. Bear in mind that I’m a city girl, born of European city parents. I’ve only truly camped once in my life, and on that trip, one of us wound up in the ER after attempting to stamp out the campfire while wearing wet Tevas. I know what you’re thinking. “Rhonda, you’re a dumbass.” While I’ve done some stupid things in my life, I’m happy to say, I was not the dumbass in question. Nonetheless, while I don’t mind the idea of camping, the reality of my limited exposure to it gave me mental images of one of us bursting into flames, running through the park screaming, and setting the whole thing on fire. Then I realized who I would be camping with, and how much fun our little adventures tend to be, and I knew she’d totally stop me, drop me, and roll me if I did something stupid, so let’s go sleep in nature!
We left Houston under dreary skies that cleared the farther from town we drove. That, in and of itself, had to be a sign! The weather was beautiful when we arrived at Enchanted Rock. We checked in and got our campsite, and we knew this was going to be our weekend.
We parked the car and started lugging a few things to the campsite. And, as if the park rangers squawked into a walkie talkie, “They’re here! Ready? Cue deer!” We noticed these guys near our campsite.
More important, though, was that Enchanted Freakin’ Rock was in our front yard, and we knew we had time to hike to the summit before nightfall.
After setting up our campsite, we grabbed our cameras and started to hike. Though I’d hiked to the summit of Enchanted Rock before, nothing looked familiar. I wasn’t worried about getting lost, though, and it wasn’t because of my impeccable sense of direction. It was because, well, it’s a giant rock surrounded by hiking trails. How lost could we get? So up we went. We hiked, we shot photos, we listened to coyotes in the distance, we shot more photos, and then we were in striking distance. The summit was about 100 yards away, up the steep, naked face of the dome.
We arrived at the summit just as the sun started to set. This kind of timing doesn’t just happen. I know that in a ranger station somewhere nearby, some guy barked an order into a walkie talkie, “Ready? Cue lighting now!”
The perfect day morphed into a wonderful night together, that morphed into what should have been an idyllic morning waking up together, had it not been spoiled by the shrieking child whose parents couldn’t grasp the following concepts:
- They are not the only people on earth.
- The few campers nearby may want to sleep later than 7:30 a.m.
- Their parenting skills suck ass.
A hipster family with a dog and small child were one campsite from us, and even that kid was all, “Dude! You’re making us all look bad. Shut the fuck up!”
We had breakfast, and after shrieking concerto #9, we broke camp. After a last short hike, filled with photo shenanigans, we set out for Burnet, TX, home of Rainbow Hearth Sanctuary and Retreat Center.
Rainbow Hearth was nothing short of fantastic and relaxing. We were there two days with no TV or internet, and we were never bored. We started our visit with massages to work out the week’s stresses and our Enchanted Rock hikes. While Mariah, the owner and massage therapist worked on me, she told me to relax and imagine myself in a way that I was most relaxed. Apparently, I’m a puddle of mud. Seriously, y’all, as she worked on my back, I imagined a spreading black puddle with my smiling face in the middle of it. Clearly, there’s something wrong with me.
The meals served at Rainbow Hearth are created by scratch from organic, preservative-free ingredients, some of which are grown on the property. Oh, be still our hippie crunchy granola healthy eating hearts! The salad greens served at lunch and dinner were simply sprouts, but Oh. Em. Gee. They were heavenly. Also? Addicting. I added some sunflower and pumpkin seeds, some cranberries and a walnut raspberry vinaigrette, and it was amazeballs! We vow to return to learn the secret of these sprouts. Meals are served family style, so we met the other guests, and we had fun socializing and running into them throughout the weekend. After dinner, we pulled out a couple of decks of cards and played a bit of Spite and Malice, making sure that, in deference to the family of five in the room, we didn’t utter even one of the colorful jinx words developed at The Compound.
During our one full day, we took a couple of hikes on the property, both on the shore of Lake Buchanan and up the hill to Medicine Rock. The latter provided us with great views and somewhat spiritual experiences. I’ll let Lindsey describe her own. Here’s how the website describes Medicine Rock:
Thunder Ridge at Rainbow Hearth was used by indigenous Americans as a sacred ceremonial site. A sophisticated seventh-generation medicine woman described the ridge as “the most energetically supportive place” she has ever experienced—second only to the Chartres Cathedral in France. Many persons who have walked the Medicine Rock have reported life-changing insights.
The rock itself is ringed with Buddhist prayer flags. Atop the rock were three circles of rocks containing objects like antlers, other rocks, and coins.
I felt very much at peace sitting around the rock. The only spiritual experience I had was a feeling of intrusion when we approached an area adjacent to Medicine Rock. It looked a bit like a small arena, ringed by stacks of limestone. When Lindsey and I walked into it, I felt a strong feeling that I shouldn’t be there. I was anxious. I wanted to walk out. I don’t know what this means, or what this says about me or my spirit, but I refused to take photos of the place, and I went back to the rock to sit and listen to the wind in the trees and do some more imagining of myself as a smiling puddle of mud.
While our four-day weekend wasn’t the South American beach/jungle vacation we originally envisioned, we got home feeling recharged for life and for each other.
Happy anniversary to us!
Great post. The photos are amazing. I had a wonderful time at Enchanted Rock with Kenneth’s scout troop (in February several years back) and I’ve never been so cold in my life. Slept in my coat in two sleeping bags and still couldn’t get warm. Congratulations and many, many happy years to you two lovebirds!
I really enjoyed both parts of the trip. I want to spend an entire weekend at Enchanted Rock to explore additional hiking trails and take more photos. The full photo set is here, if you’re interested. http://www.flickr.com/photos/txcyclist/sets/72157631844761578/
Thanks for sharing the experience and the photos!